Archive for December, 2013

2014 – The year of the robots!

Here it is the end of the year, and those of us at Vigilant Robots would like to say Happy New Year, and wish you the best in 2014.

Vigilus MCP security robot on Duty in Lobby

Vigilus MCP security robot on night patrol duty in Lobby

We think of the coming year as “The Year of the Robots,” especially for those of us in the security field. With all the buzz surrounding Google’s acquisition of 8 robotics companies, Amazon’s great press covering their (questionable) use of delivery drones, and the big splash in the media by the project at KnightScope – we think it is going to be a banner year for robots.

We just wanted to remind you that you don’t have to wait!

  • KnightScope is hoping to have a product by late 2015,
  • Google thinks it will be a “10 year moon-shot”, and
  • Amazon does not expect delivery drones in the foreseeable future.

But at Vigilant Robots we are ready to ship your security patrol robot today.

With a cost-effective price, and under a 1 year ROI, you can be under-bidding your competition, increasing your security, and differentiating your company from the others with a single phone call!

So, to get ready for the Year of the Robots, I’d like you to do one (or more) of three things – right now, while you are thinking of it!

  1. At the very least, click on this link, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the growing interest in mobile Security robots,
  2. Second, visit our blog “Where is my robot” regularly, for updates on technology, and how the security field is changing, and
  3. Last, stop by the new Vigilant Robots website to learn about our new option packages, like the FireWatcher, the new Strobes and Siren package, and the available headlight package for high quality video in low-light conditions.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and best wishes for success in 2014 – The Year of the Robots!

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The Robot and the Shoplifter

Steve arriving at work. Not an employee - a shoplifter.

Steve arriving at work. Not an employee – a shoplifter.

Steve barely glanced upwards as he strode through the doors of the local office retailer. He deliberately didn’t ‘notice’ the greeter at the shopping carts, Steve looked like he was a man on a mission. Not one of those laid-back shoppers, he gave the impression of someone who wanted to get in, get what he was looking for, and get out with the minimum hassle. And that is exactly the image he wanted to convey.

He didn’t look up at the security cameras in the ceiling, he had scoped those out on an earlier visit. So, he went straight back to the electronics section. He stayed away from the really high end products, instead he went to the mid-range stuff, under a hundred dollars, and hit the digital recorders, all sealed up in bulky plastic clam-shells, with RFID tags attached. He checked the locations of the clerks, blocked the view of the overhead camera with his body, and deftly slit the bottom of the clam-shell on his target. He didn’t remove anything yet, he just cut open the bottom of the package.  Then, with his hands clearly empty, he walked down the aisle to look at flash drives.  He sorted through a couple, while he waited to see if anyone was going to respond to his preparations.

At this point the hard work was done, he would just walk back, block the camera again, and with a quick twist, slip the recorder into his hand, and into his waistband; leaving the empty package and the RFID tag on the rack. Easy-peasey.  Then he’d shake his head, look disgusted and walk out – if anyone asked he’d explain that they didn’t have the model he wanted, and he would order it from the online store.

A robot on patrol

Security robots cannot be ‘socially engineered’ and stay focused on their assigned tasks.

Then things went wrong – wrong from Steve’s perspective. The Security Robot came around the corner of the aisle, and stopped – looking at Steve. It was about five feet tall, and moved quietly on rubber wheels. It had a camera on top pointed right at Steve. This camera was not in the ceiling several aisles away, it was within 10 feet and Steve knew that a perfect image of his face was already recorded. He also knew that he didn’t know anything about the other capabilities of this security robot. The fact that he didn’t know made the risks too high.

Was a facial recognition program already scanning through thousands of stored images, looking for him? He had heard that they did this in Vegas, and you would get busted before you made it past the door. Was the robot already radioing a human security officer, who would be waiting up front?  Could the security robot scan his pulse and respiration to detect his stress levels?  Steve just didn’t know, and not knowing was enough to stop his plan in its tracks.

Steve abandoned his plan to rip-off this store, and started walking towards the front. The robot rolled along behind him.  Was it following him even now? Steve simply didn’t know and that convinced him to move faster. As he left the electronics section, the security robot turned and went back on patrol. “That thing is just too damn smart,” thought Steve. And he mentally crossed this store off his ‘hit list’.  “Better safe than arrested,” he said to himself.

Theft from retail stores amounts to 35 million dollars a day according to some studies, and is a leading cause of losses to retail businesses. Hundreds of millions more are spent on theft resistant packaging, RFID tags, and other forms of theft prevention. But it is generally agreed that deterrence is the best solution – keep the thieves out in the first place.  We are working on our “Retail Loss Prevention” option package for our award winning security robots, to aid in the reduction of these types of thefts.


For more information about our advanced security robots, contact Vigilant Robots at 303-778-7400


Where is your robot?® Ours are made in the USA to reduce crime and keep people safe!

To stay on top of news and information, subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.


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Intruder Detected! new Video of security robots

Here is the newest video of the Vigilant Security Robot in action!

Where is your robot?® Ours are protecting lives and property every day.  Learn more at Vigilant Robots

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Google’s Android Dream

Check out this excellent post by Prof. Illah Nourbakhsh of CMU  on Google’s robotics acquisitions: Google’s Android Dreams

Over the last six months “The Googles” have been picking up robotics companies. They raised the total to eight when they purchased Boston Dynamics In early December. Google is investing heavily in robotics because they know what we at Vigilant Robots also know: robotics are going to be the ‘plastics’ of the early 21st century.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Just as with plastic  in the 1950’s there was a huge amount of basic research needed to set the stage, and we have seen that research being done in robotics over the last 20 years.

Just as with plastics in the 1950’s, once that stage was set, the breakthroughs exploded, and those who saw what was coming revolutionized how they did business. And just as plastics completely changed our everyday lives, robots will as well.

In his recent article, noted roboticist Illah Nourbaksh of CMU suggested: “Autonomous robots will displace our sense of control precisely because they are out of our control, but occupy the physical world and demand our attention.”

Get ready for the robots, they’ll be coming to a neighborhood near you!

Our belief is that robotics are poised on the edge of explosive growth, but the robots will have to ‘earn their pay‘. to become ubiquitous.  That is why we focus on security robots.


Where is your robot?® Ours are made by Vigilant Robots  Stay current with developments in mobile robotics by subscribing to our newsletter.


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Lose $75,000 in 18 minutes

That is what these property owners did, when a homeless man got cold and started a fire in their vacant building.

$75,000 gone in an 18 minute puff of smoke.

$75,000 gone in an 18 minute puff of smoke.

This is a risk that grows as the weather gets colder, but it also grows over time.  As people looking for shelter ‘scope out’ a vacant property, they become more comfortable with the risks of breaking in. I talked a little about this in a previous post on the risks of vacant buildings and how security robots can be used to mitigate the risk.


Where is your robot?®  Ours are working to keep lives and property safe!  Check out our website to subscribe to our newsletter.


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Data Center Security and Robots

I ran across a nice article in Data Center Solutions about “Getting physical with data centre security

It is a good summary on the benefits of using a Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system to provide integrated detection and response capabilities to improve the security of data centers.  It also pointed out one of the limitations of the current approach.  The reliance on layered perimeter security is spot on, but frequently the internal security is less rigorous.  Once a person has been vetted by the perimeter security, they are often allow free access to the interior – after all they have ‘passed’ security.

Vigilus MCP security robot on Duty in Lobby

Vigilus MCP security robot on night patrol duty in Lobby

It is much like the security at most airports, once you are through the security lines, you are free to move about the space.  In an earlier post on “guarding the cloud” I suggested several ways in which the use of autonomous mobile security robots can be used to increase the level of security inside the data center.  After all every bit of information in ‘the cloud’ has to reside on hardware somewhere – and that information needs to be protected.

Where is your robot?®  Ours are manufactured here in the USA to protect lives and property.

For more information, contact Vigilant Robots, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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“The Call” – security robots and staffing shortages

I just looked at the thermometer, and it is reading -13 F. There are only a few inches of snow on the ground, but they cover a layer of ice. Back when I was working security, this would be the kind of night I would dread.  While it is cold and snowy, that is not what I would be worried about.  I would be worried about ‘the call’

Anyone who has done a stint as a security officer knows about ‘the call.’  Either you are on duty, thinking about going home  to grab some shut-eye, or you are relaxing and enjoying your time off, or maybe you are at home, sneezing and coughing when the phone rings.  It’s Bob, or Melanie, or Tracy; and their car won’t start, or the snow is too deep, or their kids are sick.

Tired security guard getting the call.

The Call

The list goes on, and on.  The cause doesn’t matter, the result is the same. You are going to pull a double, or you are going to work an extra day – and you are not really ready, or happy.

But you have a job to do and you do it.  You won’t be at your best, there is no way to do 16 hours without losing your edge, the cold meds will keep you going, but your judgement and stamina will be shot.  However, it is better to have an officer on duty at 80% that to have no-one on duty at all. So you sigh, and pick up the phone, and say “Yeah, no problem – I got it covered.” And you really, really hope that it is an incident free night.

That is where the security robots come in. They don’t get sick, they don’t go home, they don’t get tired. As a security manager you know that they are always there, ready to go to work. They are not going to replace your well trained, highly motivated people – but they can decrease the load by taking on the really dull, boring tasks.  And, in the case where you are faced with not enough warm bodies to cover all the positions. you can rely on cold steel ‘bodies’.  If you run the risk of failing to meet a contract, you can drop off a robot, and put it to work in a few minutes, just tell the ‘bot where it is, and what to do, and it is on the job.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

The security robot doesn’t care if it is in a cold and dusty warehouse for 12 or 16 hours. It doesn’t care if it has to do the same boring patrol over and over again.  It stays focused, it stays alert, and it stays on duty – detecting problems like intrusions or motion, the fact that the furnace as gone out and the temperature is dropping, or that there are high levels of carbon monoxide or a hint of smoke.  Reporting these problems via cell phone or wi-fi – so that the supervisors know about the problem in seconds and can respond.  Because that is what the security task is all about – detecting problems, reporting conditions, and responding appropriately.  Keeping people and property safe and secure.

So, before you get that feeling of dread, waiting for ‘the call’, look into a back-up plan and check out the possibility of putting security robots to work. After all, that’s your job – being prepared.

Where is your robot?®  Contact Vigilant Robots today to schedule a demo, or learn more about the Vigilus-MCP Security Robot.

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